Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nowhere to go for chavismo

It is always sobering when you read that even a firebrand like Marianella Salazar writes in a major paper about the possibility of a coup, naturally,  as if she were talking about what to do next Sunday after the family BBQ.  I do not know about her sources to take this eventuality such matter-of-factly, but one thing is certain: major governmental paralysis is only too often the surest sign of a regime/government change. Hit your history books.

The fact of the matter is that since Chavez left for Cuba the country has been basically on standby. For all the electoral pandering the lone economic decision of importance taken was the devaluation in February which has turned out to be a mere robbery as most private debt of 2012 at 4.3 to the dollar has been paid, if paid, at 6.3 to the dollar. A 40%+ robbery. True, there has been an attempt at reducing expenses though with misguided targets, and probably all efforts voided by the latest loan from China which is for electoral purposes, and once again, leaving us into yet more national debt (I have read 60% of PIB which is terrible for a country that produces nothing of value for export).

Whatever the real numbers are on the economy what we know for certain is that the inflation is killing us while the country infrastructure, without upkeep for a couple of decades is crumbling at a faster speed, from gaping sinkholes in Caracas streets to constant power outages. For those of us still trying to have our business produce something, anything, the fight is harder by the day. Between the increasing difficulty to obtain less and less dollars to purchase our raw materials we are subjected to a relentless assault of bureaucrats acting as free agents to skim whatever they can from us, legally or not, it really makes no difference at this point. For many manufacturing business these days, trapped between abusive price controls, impossibility to manage labor force, scarcity of raw materials, logistical nightmares, it is increasingly coming down to meet payroll or pay our providers. Since by law we must do both then private debt increases or payroll is cut down, generating more social stress.

All of these is felt by the population which is realizing that the regime is simply unable to take any major decision. The regime is trapped into the prospect of radicalizing its system and accept state bankruptcy and the consequent repression that will be needed to control the masses; or the regime can start applying a dose of reality to state management, implicitly admitting that the bolivarian fraudulent revolution is over. The question thus, the real question, is why soon one year after the departure of Chavez the regime is unable to make up its mind.

I am offering one explanation here, of the many possible: chavismo is on the verge of fracturing itself. In Venezuelan history the break up of political parties is a recurrent theme. AD did it several times. Copei did it only once but it cost it its future. Even parties that did not make it to office managed to divide themsleves, such as Causa R, and even Primero Justicia when Lopez left. There is no accident that Venezuelan ballots offer dozens of political parties.

Specific chavismo, the PSUV, cannot escape that fate, the more so that it was founded as a support for Chavez, never along a strong ideological program, or at least a country objective. If the ambitions of Maduro and Cabello have been apparent and determined the inner struggles of 2012 and the first half of 2013, we cannot fail to note that chavismo itself was never able to unify the Venezuelan left, as many parties claiming that image still exist within chavismo (like the Communist party and other assorted small groups). Amen of the left that never joined chavismo or abandoned 2007, or even earlier.

I think that one reason why the regime is unable to take real political and economic measures is that any it may take will alienate one of the branches of chavismo and cause a break up. Since all inside know that a break up is a sure way to be booted out of office, they stick together at all costs, in particular the even higher cost of paralysis which is a slower way to be dismissed from office but the surest one.

The genius of Weil at Tal Cual
Values or corruption
Production or importation
Spending or investment
Debt, debt, debt....


  1. Anonymous12:46 AM

    If Venezuelans could make a stand for themselves there would be a chance, but I don't see this happen anytime soon, perhaps only after pigs learn how to fly.

    1. Roberto Carlos4:11 AM

      Fifteen years and counting ...

      And wait until we get closer to the December elections! Daniel will publish all kinds of colorful spreadsheets analyzing the possiblities and implications of the expected results.

      Yeah elections, that's the ticket! Why didn't we think of that before ...

    2. You have discovered me Roberto! I work for the regime and I am paid to make little diagrams to lull the opposition into a false sense of security.

  2. Anonymous12:49 AM

    "I think that one reason why the regime is unable to take real political and economic measures is that any it may take will alienate one of the branches"

    You are over thinking this. The regime is unable to take real political or economic measures because the regime consists of idiots. The leader is a bus driver who attributes the countries violence to Spider Man movies. Don't give them more credit than they deserve!

    1. I am not giving them any credit. Even at thug level some survival decisions need to be taken and those do not seem to be coming either. They are truly like the Capulet and Montague looking at each other across the Gran Piazza except for the foul language and way lesser sartorial pizzaz.


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